Monday, May 28, 2012

Home Sweet Home

I am sitting here in my new host family’s house in my fanfreakingtasic new town!! I am as of today the newest member of Taourirt, Morocco. I am in Northeast part of the country. I am about 2 hours or so from the Mediterranean and about the same distance to Algeria!! There are not many of us out this way but the people from my Staj(group I came to Morocco with) and the other volunteers here seem really awesome! I have a site mate who has been helping me a ton with the logistics of Taourirt. There are somewhere near 45,000 people who live here. SO far everyone Is great they all have welcomed me! I have even gotten a few ( “You look just like Adele’s”) My host sister makes custom traditional Morocco dresses and I believe she is making me one now!!! I have two host brothers and one is a NINJA!! Say whatttttt?!?!?! He is a full contact Thai Boxer and he is going to take me to the gym to check out the classes! The summer will be slow here as most of the Dar Chababs and other such places close. I will spend the summer with a Darija Tutor and planning workshops, projects, classes and activites. I really want to start the new school year with tons of stuff in the bank… then if I don’t use them at least I tried! So I don’t have too much to say now. My CBT (in Ras Elma) Was amazing and I am sure Taourirt will be too!! I have also listed my address below, this is it for the next 2 years so… IF you have been asking about care packages send away! I would really love letters too!! I have also listed a few things from America I would really love but mostly letters and pictures would be cool!
MIss you All like Crazy Have a fun Summer!!!! I hate I am missing everything!!


Mallory Akins

20 Rue De La Resistance

Appt N 13

65800 Taourirt, Morocco

Some things I would love

·         #1 Vanilla Protien Powder!!

·         Ninja Juice A.K.A D-Stunner (ask Jet Fitness)

·         Magazines

·         A childs BuzzLight year shirt for my old host Brother he is 5 he would dig this seriously he loves some Buzz!!

·         Maybe some Tshirts from Old navy or anywhere just t-shirts My town is not so conservative

·         Some season packets especially Ranch

·         A list of books songs anything new I could try and download!

·         Real Coffee Starbucks, Dunken, Folgers any kind that is not instant

·         Regular notebooks with College Ruled Paper (THEY DON’T HAVE ANY LINED PAPER AHHHH)

·         Just anything you can think of that I would love

·         Plus a Chick Fil A Sandwhich! LOL seriously when anyone comes to visit please grab one right before your flight I’ll eat it I don’t care if its 10 hours old!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You're so Vain!!

SO from the title you can probably guess this post is gonna be all about me ( I think) you never know what I will be thinking from one min to the next...

So I just want to take a few to share some of my minor accomplishments since I have been here. I have jumped back into my workout routine and that for me is pretty good!

Biggest so far was the speech I gave in Moroccan Arabic last Saturday. I was able to convey to a group of children the Purpose of the Peace Corps and also tell them a little about what I am doing here. It was about 3 minutes I was amazed that after about 4 or 5 weeks I could convey even a sentence much less a speech! I am picking up Darija so well! I can not wait to get out on my own and learn more.

I have been able to get really close to my host family and everyday they spend with me opens them up to a new world! I am teaching them alot about Southern American Culture and opening there eyes to my craziness. They asked me why I dont have kids and I said b/c I have two dogs and they died! They think its hilarious the relationship I have with Chloe and Bandit. They just can not grasp that Chloe has her own pillow in my room at home!!

I have sucussfully travelled with the help of a teacher, I have shopped alone in the market. I have watched multiple chickens die so I can eat dinner and I have taught some Kids Yoga! I will also be teaching a Non Smoking class at the Youth Center on Thursday so That will be another notch in my accomplishment belt!

Beside doing all of this things, I am really just trying spend these last few weeks with my family here in Ras Elma. I will be leaving and heading to Rabat on the 19th! Where I will get my final site!! I will let you all know when I figure it out!

I also went to the Hammam with my group the other day, lets just say that was like an amazing body scrub in public with ladies only! I of course love it, I would love it more if it was private but No biggie!

Please feel free to ask me whatever you want to know, it is amazing here! Also if you could please send me letters or emails I would love to know what is going on with all of you. Email your addresses too!! '

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All My Loving

This past weekend in Morocco was filled with Weddings, travel, great friends and COLD WEATHER!

The wedding my CBT in Ras El ma attended was great, admittedly I only attended day/night one and headed to the mountains for day 2 of the festivities. The wedding was amazing. The culture was a completely different experience than any other wedding I have ever attended. I do however think years spent with my wonderful Best Friend Susu did prepare me a little for the lavish festivities it was a little like some of the family celebrations I have attended with her. First on the Agenda was going to the Grooms family (The family of Lizzy one of my wonderful CBT Mates)house to have lunch of Couscous (the food so nice they named it twice), liver and Heart of cow (I think) and the cow head (NOPE I didn’t eat it) Everything I did eat was amazing. Next up was Bin Suda to celebrate with the Bride and mostly women of the families. The bride and Groom sat eerily still while a woman decorated the bride’s hands and feet with an Elaborate Henna decoration. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe the ornate and unique design that wound around the brides feet and hands. She sat there still, looking poised and ready for a life with the man that sat next to her. This part of the Wedding was Henna Day all of the women gathered for dancing, socialization and to honor the bride during her time of Joy. The hospitality here was the same theme of love, open arms and welcoming souls that is embedded in Moroccan Culture, something I will cherish forever. Cookies and tea were passed around as well as the notorious communal water cup. Women danced to the beat of what I can classify as Moroccan Music (I am still learning all of the styles of music) Hips moved, hands fluttered and love exuded from each person there. After this dance party we got in a car and went back to Ras El ma. Once back in Ras El Ma we headed straight to afternoon Tea! So good as usual. We had a new snack I had never seen which was cake with yogurt and sprinkles (SO GOOD) after this I jetted of with my friends to get ready for the big event of the night. After adorning myself with a beautiful Caftan I was ready to roll! And I looked Zwina! (Beautiful in Darija)I was looking quit Adele”ish” which is who people tell me I look like here in Morocco (obviously I like it ) My CBT mates and I headed down for Dinner and the rest of the celebration. We ate WEDDING CHICKEN I had merely heard rumors of this Moroccan delicacy and there it was soooo Good! I think I ate more there than I have since I arrived! I had a wonderful time laughing with my friends, my amazing host sister and the Groom even sat with us so it was a uniquely special evening I shared with some cool people. The final part of the night was spent watching dancers shake there hips and groove to the loudest music  I have ever heard ever in life… The men sat separate from the woman as we all looked on these dancers, the band and singers.

I honestly had the time of my life, The cultural celebration was beautiful and I really hate I missed day two. However, I would have never traded the time I spent in Azrou with my amazing new friends for a million weddings! I really look forward to spending some time with them again soon!!!

Until Next time,

As soon I was ready to post this blog we had a visit from some family and I was able to catch a moment between a daughter and father that I haven’t seen too often, it was a moment of love, respect, care and admiration so that being said this Blog post is dedicated to my Wonderful Dad! I love and care for him more than he knows! I can’t wait to have you in Morocco to see the wonderful cultural I have been living in. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here to be experiencing this! Thanks Dad for everything you have ever done I love you! “ and I’ll send all my loving to you”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day Something.....

Its been almost 3 weeks since I have arrived in Morocco and it already feels like I’ve been here my whole life. The people of Morocco are the most welcoming and hospitable of people. I never feel like a stranger. I am in a small town outside of Fes doing my home stay and training. God has really blessed me with a very amazing home stay family. I have two Moms here they are actually family not married but it is like having two moms! I also have a sister she is 11 and amazing. She study’s English every night so that one day she will be able to go to University in America… Ya’ll should see her there because this girl is one dedicated student! She has a goal and she will achieve it!

Ras Elma is a very small village of about 2,050 people. The mountain views are incredible! The entire situation here is incredible; from the view to the people and the laidback atmosphere it is all amazing. I have been hitting the Language pretty hard with my LCF (Language and Cultural facilitator) and my CBT (Community Based training) Mates! I am sharing this wonderful town with some pretty incredible people from all walks of life. There is Lauren, Lizzy, Emily, Carly and Evan. We are learning a lot and bonding in ways I would never had expected. I know the next 8 or so weeks with them will be amazing.

Soooo down to the nitty gritty! Yes I use a Turkish Toilet here and take a bucket bath!!! I have honestly embraced it. I love knowing I am not wasting water and not polluting the ground. I have half hand washed my own clothes and used a hand vacuum! I walk all over town and take a cab filled to the max with people when I need to go to “town” (Fes). I love 100% everything about this lifestyle! I have encountered a few cultural divides but I am learning that I do not always have to like I just need to accept there are things that happen in the world I can never change. I am continuing to learn daily to just focus on the things I can do and leave the rest to God! I have started the Spring camp in my town at the Dar Chabab (Youth House) we are at this point starting day 3 tomorrow (April 10th) The focus is on Time and Numbers, two lessons which will be done by two of my CBT Site Mates Lauren and Evan. I will be doing a lesson Wednesday on Animals! We will have a huge scavenger hunt Wednesday as well followed by Thursdays Carnival!! We will do all of this while continuing to have language classes so by Friday (wedding day!!!!!) I will be ready to crash. I highly doubt that will be happening, Friday we have the Wedding Lunch at a house in town then that will start the weekend. I will be heading to Azrou a mountain town with some volunteers in other site for the weekend.

I truly miss all of my friends and family!! Since being here in Morocco (3 weeks today I just calculated) I have made some friendships and established Bonds with people who I never would have thought! I have meet and befriended some amazing people! I cannot wait to spend the next two years getting to know them! I could not have made it through the training in Rabat without them much less the next two years! I am also happy to report that Morocco LOVES L.O.V.E.S comfort! I am talking track suits everywhere!! My first Kitma (Darija for Tracksuit) is a Black and Gold number made by “ADAIDAS” when I put it on I immediately become a member of Run DMC! It’s packed away for now but I will be wearing it all around Morocco in the months to come! For those of you who know me pretty well know that I am an actual Ninja and FYI I have meet some fellow Ninjas in Peace Corps! They even have Clemson Fans here!! (LOL) SO far no one is a NASCAR fan! (Surprised??)

Well its almost Mid-night and I am super tired!! Love to you all I miss you with all of my heart! I know I will see some of you here in the future! There will be more updates to come but I leave you all with this for now!!

“Blessed are the Peacemakers: for they shall be called the Children of God”  Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why are you doing this...

This question has been asked by everyone I come across... WHY?

I didn't even know I really wanted to be the Peace Corps until I was half way through the process.

One thing I knew was soon as I landed in Ecuador in 2008 that travelling was in my blood. There was also this moment while in Ecuador I was walking with my fellow students to a community event we has planned in the smallest amount of time and we turned the corner and the entire town was waiting with open arms! I never wanted to let that feeling go. In a short period of time we had made enough of an impact that a community was interested to come out for food/fun and of course soccer. This was honestly one of the most memorable moments of my life. It is was euphoria that I craving to feel again. So after I came back the 2nd summer from Ecuador I needed something. I tried the Recreation department at a resort not even close. So I came home got an office job and 7 months later I knew I needed to travel again. I looked at many options Missionary, teacher, anything. Well honestly stumbled across the Peace Corps website in a simple Google Search and I applied. Not knowing that my life would be forever changed when I hit submit.

I began to get excited about travelling, helping the world, making a difference... It was not until I got invited that I really asked myself what in the world made you fill out that application??

I started answering people with this generic answer "I just want to help people".
This is still true I want to help people but it is more than that.  There 1,000 ways to help the world... Teachers, Musicians, Missionaries, authors, artist, mathematicians, computer gurus everyone has a purpose and a gift to give the world. I believe the gift God gave is heart to leave everything I know in North Carolina, brave the world and make an impact abroad. My passion is working in Youth Development. I love education through recreation. Giving children an opportunity to learn life skills while having a great time. Leadership, compassion, respect, love, friendship, self awareness, open hearts and minds, inspiration, creativity, and strength are just a few things I will be able to help children identify in themselves as a Youth Developer in Morocco. Of course if I could reach every child I meet that would be crazy fantastic but even if I make a small dent in a child's heart/life I will know I have done my best in Morocco!

That is just a glimpse of why I took this path placed in front of me. The Peace Corps is my road to take. Everybody has their own road and my wish for all of you reading this is no matter what corner of the world God leads you too, you take the path and run with it! Your life will blossom in front of your eyes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

162 days until Staging!!!

In 162 days I will be leaving Mooresville NC and will embark on a 27 month adventure to Morocco. I will start my journey in Philly then fly out Morocco. Anyone who has even looked my direction since August 19th 2010 knows that I am extremely excited about being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I have experienced reactions of tears, curiosity, confusion, happiness, worry and a certain level of disinterest (that honestly drives me nuts) from everyone I tell about my upcoming life change. I myself have gone through a roller coaster of emotions. As of this moment I am filled with 50% Joy and a 50% combo of any other emotion you can imagine. I find myself randomly thinking/day dreaming of what my life will look like this time next year and I 100% cannot picture it. I have come to realize that this is the best possible out come. I want to maintain an unbiased mind until that plane lands on the other side of the world.

When I started my application on 8/19/2010 I really thought it would go no further than that. Then I was nominated!! Onward to the medical process I went. WOW they really need to know everything. This is where it all sank in. The real possibility of being a Peace Corps volunteer and the real possibility of not being medically accepted due to a few medical issues. As most everyone knows I have had problems with my Asthma in the past as well as an accident that left me with a beautiful piece of titanium in my femur. I was terrified that one or both of those things would hold me up. Speed bumps in my road to Morocco YES! Do not pass go do not collect your Invitation NO! I made it and on July 19th 2011 (11 Months to the day) my very supportive mother and father presented me with a big blue packet that changed my life in an instant. I have never been so proud of my self for sticking with something and not giving up when it got rocky!

Another thing that most everyone knows about me is I am believer in God and his son Jesus. I want to tell you that I have never spoken with God more than I have this past year. I have prayed, cried, and thanked God everyday for this experience. My faith in the power of prayer will help me and has helped me through my darkest days (not just during this process but through life in general) I know that each person I will meet on this journey will impact my life in a way I can not grasp at this moment. I am beyond blessed that our staging is on a Monday this means that there is one last church service I can attend with my family (Church and immediate). I attend a small church in Mooresville and I am thankful to God that he led my family and their because my church has been very supportive. One of the members and great friend even wrote one of my reccomendation letters (Thanks Shirley) I attend a very Community Based church we are always reaching out locally nationwide and internationally. Knowing that my church family is supportive and is watching out for my family while I am gone means the world to me Thanks God!

I am leaving my mind and heart wide open for all of the new people/culture/experiences/communities/tradtions I will come across in Morocco and I welcome you all to join me on my adventure!! I look forward to bringing the world of the Peace Corps and Morocco to everyone who reads this! Inshallah! (God Willing)